She continued to exercise, work in the yard and help babysit her great grandchildren until this spring when she developed congestive heart failure, which compromised her health further.
Evelyn was born on February 19, 1918 in Outlook, Montana to Frank and Hilda Welsh and was the second of three children; because opportunities were limited she moved to Spokane in the late 30’s to attend Kinman Business School where she learned her office skills.
In 1941 she moved to Western Washington to work and there she met her husband of 63 years, D.J.
They were married on November 9, 1941 and on January 30, 1942 Buzz was sent to the Pacific Theatre where he was stationed until June of 1945.
During that time Evelyn lived in Cairo, Nebraska with her in-laws and gave birth to their son James.
After the war they moved to Spokane and established their life together.
Evelyn worked for many years at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, she truly loved her career.
In 1965 she and Buzz built their “summer home” on Harbor Island which became and still is the gathering place for their extended family.
After they both retired they moved to Harbor Island full time and spent many hours working in the yard and hosting friends and relatives for barbeques and boat rides.
The “river” as we all called her home was her special place and she welcomed the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who raided her well-stocked pantry every time they walked in the door.
When Mom was in her early 60’s she and Dad started running.
They became quite well known in the Spokane running community as it is very unusual for folks of that age to START running!
They ran marathons and Evelyn placed second in her age group at one of the Honolulu Marathons and won two Bloomsday age group medals.
She is preceded in death by her parents Frank and Hilda Welsh, her sister Florence Beaudin and her husband Buzz Irvin.
She is survived by her son James of San Marcos, TX, her daughter Candice Henderson of Spokane, her brother Ralph (Ann) Welsh of San Francisco, CA along with four grandchildren Miriam Ripplinger, David (Jennifer) Irvin, Callie (Stewart) Fried and Katrina (John) Finnegan and 10 great-grandchildren.
Special thanks to Hospice of North Idaho especially, Sabrina, Louise and Kim whose visits always brought a smile to her face.
Also a special thanks to Dr. Brian Samuels of NW Oncology and Susan Herbst of Kootenai Cancer Center who treated her for Multiple Myeloma.
And to her primary care physician Dr. Rolf Nesse of Group Health whose caring and understanding was so welcomed and helpful.
No one could believe Mom was 95 years old and we think her hearty Norwegian genes and her physical fitness from running and other athletic pursuits were two of the reasons for her long life.
But probably THE biggest reason was she was so young at heart and in good condition was her attitude about life.
She was very capable and carried a quiet wisdom within her.
Evelyn was a great woman who was loved by many and a true inspiration to all who knew her.
We will all miss her greatly.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 11:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 4521 N. Arden Rd., Otis Orchards, WA followed by inurnment at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Please visit Evelyn’s online memorial at www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com, and leave a message of condolence.
Arrangements have been entrusted to: